Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tae Kwon Do Tournament 2013

Last weekend the boys had their TKD tournament -- it was little Max's first time.

He was competing in three 'events':  1) Family form -- where he and his dad would do the gold belt form together (in sync); 2) his individual gold belt form; and 3) board breaking).

I was hoping he wouldn't be nervous or anxious...since it was something new and sometimes he gets overly hesitant when he doesn't know what to expect. But, we had been practicing his form all.week.long, so he knew what to do and was at least prepared to do that part.

First up, right away when we got there, the boys did their family form together.  I had tears in my eyes.  They ROCKED it!  Not a single mistake!!  Way to GO Maxes!!

And the best part is they won FIRST PLACE!  Little Max was SO excited!

Then he went on to perform his individual form (same thing just by himself).  We think the 'guide' messed him up a little bit, but he still did a fantastic job.  I should mention this was after over 1.5 hrs of WAITING...waiting in a line marked '5 year olds', and then waiting and watching ALL the other belts go first.  I was surprised he wasn't a hot mess at that point...because I was!

And he won first place again!  They set up the tournament in a really great way to build self esteem in these kids.  Basically, when you get up to 'compete' you are competing against 4 other peers.  At the end, each one of you will get SOMETHING...1st-4th place.  And at 5 years old, the kids can't really differentiate between a first place trophy and a 4th place medal.  In fact, I think Max was more excited about his medal than his trophy...until he figured out his trophy was bigger than his dad's trophy.  Then, he just kept pointing out that 'his was bigger'.  LOL

After that, MORE waiting to do board breaking.  We hadn't originally signed him up to break any boards, but he really wanted to.  So he broke two boards with kicks.

He won fourth place for  his board breaking.  Overall it was a great time.  It was a great way to build his self-esteem and show him that there are rewards for what he is working so hard to do/learn.  We were all super proud of him, and he loves showing off his trophies! (Beware if you come to visit!)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Florida Vacation 2013: Day 5

The weather forecast again was for overcast skies so we opted to head out in the car and drive to Shark Valley to see some alligators.

But first, we put the kids to work cleaning all the windows that they leave little fingerprints on!  Just kidding...kind of...

Little Max and I hung out in the backseat of the car for the drive...

And then we found them!  Those sneaky gators!

They were all just laying out in the sun warming up.  Lazy bones.  We had brought the bikes (and kids seats) along with us so we decided to bike the loop at Shark Valley.  Someone told me it was 7 miles.  I thought...ok, that's easy I can bike that (I haven't biked in awhile)...

Well, someone FORGOT to inform me that it was 7 miles ONE WAY.  I think little Max caught my emotions perfectly, LOL.

There were TONS of alligators along the way. They climb out onto the grass almost up to the road!  It was kind of weird biking right by one of imagination was getting the best of me. But, they are pretty slow and lethargic this time of year.  And, I was going too fast...right?

At the end there is a tower you can climb to look out over the area.  You can see that at least the forecast was correct for most of the day...

We climbed to the top and played I spy.  

This picture makes me smile....

In addition to all the alligators, we did see a ton of birds like these Wood Storks.

By this time, Sam was getting a little slap happy because he hadn't napped.  He was pretty goofy.

And I was getting pretty tired/sore.  My butt was just not made to ride on a bike seat for prolonged periods of time....

Cute family photo (Sam still being goofy).  Do you see who snuck in on the right?

Yeah...this guy.  Doesn't look like he's going to be moving anywhere anytime soon.

I was pretty famished after that long bike ride, so I snacked on some of the kids' cereal.  You snooze you lose!  :)

Sam didn't mind.  He was too busy being goofy.

Gotta love this little stinker!

No naps eventually caught up with us.  This guy would not.stop.talking the ENTIRE trip.  So, of course he passes out 5 mins from home.  That's Murphy's Law, right?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Florida Vacation 2013: Day 4

The weather forecast was predicting lower temps and cloudy/rainy skies, so we planned to head to Naples to the Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (CMON).

The boys were super excited to just run and play and be rowdy and crazy.  We started off in the building blocks room...

They had a little costume bin and Sam decided he wanted to be Thomas the Train..

On the other side of the entrance were some 'seasonally' themed rooms.  This fall themed room had a fun tree which blew leaves out the top.  The boys had a lot of fun sticking the leaves in the bottom and then squealing and running to catch the leaves as the flew out the top...

Max tried feeding the birds some sunflower seeds...

They even had a temperature controlled (read COLD) igloo!

Next door to that was the weather station.  This touchscreen let you manipulate and control the weather and to see what happened when you tried different types of precipitation.

Sam took a stab at being on-camera and doing the weather report.  I think he's got it down!

There was a little boat where you could use a magnetic fishing pole to fish.  Sam was all about the safety and insisted that he put on his life jacket before climbing into the boat.

There was hardly any time to be 'still'....but that was fine.  The boys ran off a lot of energy!

Outside they had a really fun water table feature.  It was fun to figure out cause and effect with water.

These water 'guns' were pretty fun too -- Sam 'accidentally' squirted Max, LOL.

They even had this super cool 'chalkboard' outside and bucket and buckets of paint brushes.  The kids painted pictures with just water -- which showed up great on the chalkboard and then as it evaporated disappeared.  I am TOTALLY putting one of these in our backyard.  It was SO much fun!

And yes, see the sun?!  Weather forecast was off...but that's ok.  The boys had a blast and it was a fun alternative to the beach for a day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Florida Vacation 2013: Day 3

Another lazy morning around the house leisurely waking up...and then we all got our beach clothes on and went outside to board Grumps' new ride:

Sam's so cool with his shades....

The two captains ready to take us on our latest adventures...

Granna wanted to be a captain too!

Look at who we saw on our ride today!  Actually, I think we saw them every day we went out -- this just happened to be a more fantastic shot that Max was able to take when they surfaced.

We also saw lots of birds.  Isn't this heron pretty?

We rode the boat all the way over to Sanibel Island and parked ourselves on a little sliver of beach.  The boys had fun shelling and digging and swimming....

Grumps gets his fishing net ready while Sam tests out the water....

My little beach bum.  He's got this all down now...such a seasoned beach traveler he is!

Ha!  This picture of Sam makes me laugh every time.  What a goof.

Perfect throw Grumps!

Sam helps bring it back in....

Beach fun.  The boys could stay on the beach All.Day.Long if we let them.

They even got brave and ventured out into the water.  It was kind of choppy on this beach.

My momma.  Isn't she beautiful!?

I could get used to looking at this All.Day.Long!

Sam decides he wants to go all out swimming with daddy.

He loves the water.  Sam is our little fishy.

Max is more of a land lubber, but he sure loves digging holes and building things in the sand.

And he sure looks like a little surfer boy/beach bum!

Family pictures with the boat!

True to form, as soon as Grumps got the boat moving fast, Sam passed out cold.  Isn't he adorable?  I have to admit it was such a treat getting to have my 'baby' sleep on me a lot during this vacation.  Other Moms know what I'm talking about -- the kids reach a certain age and their independence just kicks in and there is no more sleeping on mom.  Or maybe it is just my boys.  In any case, it was nice to get used as a pillow again.  I enjoyed every minute of those snuggles!

He even stayed passed out through the transition off the boat and onto some patio cushions!

He stayed passed out enough for me to get a quick run in...and then to put my swimming suit on for some sun/pool time!

Sam woke up for pool time (naturally) and got a kick out of jumping off the side of the pool with Grumps (little Max was a little less bold and just stayed in the pool squirting us with his water gun).

Sam was even so brave (**crazy**) that he kept jumping all afternoon long by himself!

All that jumping and swimming got our appetite's worked up so we went out to have some dinner that night in Ft. Myers.

Grumps and Sam had a very intense conversation about the color red.

I tried to keep the sun out of my eyes.

Sam practiced his mad crossword skillz (haha...just coloring).

I remembered that Salty Sam's was next door, so I made us walk over there to take a picture in the big Salty Sam chair like we had done last year.

The boys were a little squirrely so it was hard to get them to sit still and both look at the camera at the same time...

But we managed a few keepers....


Look at how much they've grown since last year!

A perfect ending to a nearly perfect day!